East Malaysia – Sabah
Kota Kinabalu is the largest urban centre in Sabah, the sixth largest in the country and it is also one of the major industrial and commercial centres in East Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu’s strong real estate potential
There is a lot of room for future growth in the real estate sector in Sabah, particularly high and mid-end hotels, resorts and other tourism-related development.
Although Sabah’s real estate sector is not as robust as its tourism counterpart, the potential for growth is strong with developers from Peninsular Malaysia getting on the bandwagon and contributing new ideas to liven up the market.
Kota Kinabalu, formerly known as Jesselton, is the capital of Sabah, located on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo facing the South China Sea and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park on one side, and with Mount Kinabalu in the background.
Kota Kinabalu is the largest urban centre in Sabah and the sixth largest in the country. Often simply known as K.K., it is also one of the major industrial and commercial centers in East Malaysia besides Kuching in Sarawak. These two factors combine to make Kota Kinabalu one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
The internal roads linking different parts of the city are generally state roads constructed and major internal roads are dual-carriageways. One of the major roads is Jalan Lintas-Jalan Tuaran Bypass, which together serves almost as a ring road, circling the city and connecting the districts and suburbs surrounding the city.
Outlying neighbourhoods or suburbs include Kepayan Ridge, Tanjung Aru, Petagas, Kepayan, Lido, Lintas, Nosoob, Bukit Padang, Luyang, Damai, Likas, and Kolombong.
There are six islands located off the coast of the city. Five of which, designated under the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, are Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Sulug, and Pulau Mamutik.
There are many government or state schools in and around the city and also two international schools, Kinabalu International School (KIS) located in Bukit Padang and the Kinabalu Japanese School, catering to foreigners.
On the university front, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) is the only university in Sabah. Colleges include INTI College, Kinabalu Commercial College, and Informatics College. Many wealthy residents send their children abroad for secondary school and university.
Kota Kinabalu also features a number of shopping malls attracting visitors from all walks of life. The more popular ones include Kompleks Karamunsing, Centre Point, Wisma Merdeka, Warisan Square, Plaza Wawasan, City Mall, and KK Plaza.
The ongoing construction of 1 Borneo in Sepanggar is expected to be completed in 2008 and when completed it expected to be the largest shopping mall in East Malaysia, and possibly even in Borneo.
Sabah’s rapid growth as an international tourism destination is fuelling the development of more international-class resorts and other real estate facilities. If the momentum picks up, there will be more resorts joining the four existing ones in Kota Kinabalu namely Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort, Shangri-La Dalit Bay Resort, Sutera Harbour Resort and Spa, and Nexus Resort Karambunai.
Sabah is now quite popular among the South Koreans, Taiwanese and Japanese. Many of them stay here for long periods during the winter months and have bought properties under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme.
Some of the new landmark projects are Sandakan Harbour Square, One Borneo, and KK Times Square. There is also a redevelopment of the old port by Suria Capital.
Joining the big local players such as Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, Wah Mie Group and Karambunai Corp Bhd are Ireka Corp Bhd, Siah Brothers and WCT Land Bhd and there is a lot of room for future growth in the real estate sector, particularly high and mid-end hotels, resorts and other tourism-related development.